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Hen regulations, to-go cocktails among new laws in 2022
With the new year, Proposition 12 requires that egg-laying hens in California must be cage-free (Photo contributed).

As the world says goodbye — and good riddance — to 2021 this weekend and rings in 2022, hundreds of new laws will go into effect in California. From to-go cocktails to gender neutral toy aisles, there are plenty of regulations for residents of The Golden State to remember along with their resolutions in the New Year.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed 770 new California laws and vetoed 66 in 2021, providing his stamp of approval for 92% of the 836 proposals state lawmakers sent to his desk this year. 

“In a time when the state and country are more divided than ever, this legislative session reminds us what we can accomplish together. I am thankful for our partners in the state Legislature who furthered our efforts to tackle the state’s most persistent challenges – together, we took action to address those challenges head-on, implementing historic legislation and the California Comeback Plan to hit fast forward on our state’s recovery,” said Governor Newsom in October after signing the final bills of the 2020-2021 legislative session. “What we’re doing here in California is unprecedented in both nature and scale. We will come back from this pandemic stronger than ever before.”

While Newsom vetoed a few bills, like decriminalizing jaywalking and allowing bicyclists to roll through stop signs, there are several new traffic laws which will go into effect Jan. 1, 2022. Assembly Bill 3 created a new law which defines a “sideshow” in California as an “event in which two or more persons block or impede traffic on a highway for the purpose of performing motor vehicle stunts, motor vehicle speed contests, motor vehicle exhibitions of speed or reckless driving for spectators.”

There will also be penalties for those who participate in sideshows, with courts able to suspend licenses between 90 days and six months beginning July 1, 2025.

Locals who enjoy horseback riding will also soon be subject to new safety regulations. AB 974 requires anyone under 18 years old who rides horses, mules or donkeys on a paved highway to wear a helmet as well as reflective gear or a lamp when riding after dark. Fines for first time violators are $25 per infraction, though those riding in parades or festivals are exempt. 

Those producing eggs and raising pigs will be impacted by Proposition 12, the latter part of which will go into effect in January 2022. Known as the “Bacon” law, Prop 12 was first passed in 2018 and in January 2020 required that egg-laying hens and calves intended to be sold as veal have adequate space of 144 square inches and 43 square feet, respectively.

The second part of the law will go into effect with the new year, requiring that egg-laying hens must be cage-free and breeding pigs must be allotted 24 square feet per pig. California accounts for about 15% of the US pork market, the National Pork Producers Council said in a September news release, and the organization is asking the Supreme Court to determine Prop 12’s constitutionality. 

“We’re asking the Supreme Court to consider the constitutionality of one state imposing regulations that reach far outside its borders and stifle interstate and international commerce,” said NPPC President Jen Sorenson. “In this case, arbitrary animal housing standards that lack any scientific, technical or agricultural basis and that will only inflict harm on U.S. hog farmers.”

Several laws allowing the sale of cocktails to-go during the pandemic, SB 314, AB 61 and SB 389, are here to stay, with the legislature noting the popular purchases’ positive effect on businesses. There are rules for how beverages must be packaged, however, including secure lids with seals, single-serve containers and a limit of two drinks per meal, for example. 

Food delivery workers and restaurants who participate in programs like Door Dash will benefit from AB 286, which states that tips on food delivery services and apps must go to the individual worker rather than the delivery service. Additionally, it will now be against the law to charge a customer more than what is listed on the website at the time of the order, and pickup orders will see gratuity go to the restaurant — not the app. 

Also in 2022, large department stores will be required to provide a gender neutral toy aisle — something proponents of AB 1084 say will combat higher pricing for girls’ toys. Fines for stores that do not comply range from $250 to $500 for varying offenses and the new law applies to stores with 500 or more employees. 

New laws in education include SB 224, which requires part of middle and high school curriculum to be dedicated to mental health, and AB 101, which will see students in the California State University’s graduating class of 2024-2025 be required to complete at least one 3-unit ethnic studies course. 

The governor also signed multiple police reform bills into law, one of which prohibits police from using rubber bullets or tear gas unless other crowd control measures have been exhausted. SB 2 will stop officers from transferring to different departments after they’ve been found to have committed serious misconduct. 

To view more laws which will go into effect in 2022, visit